HC Deb 12 March 1947 vol 434 c1325
47. Sir W. Smithers

asked the Minister of Defence how many timber huts are still in possession of the three Service Departments at the latest available date; what is their condition; what is the reason for the delay in selling them; and if he will make a statement about a situation, details of which have been brought to his notice.

The Minister of Defence (Mr. A. V. Alexander)

I regret that it would not be possible to give the information asked for without a disproportionate amount of work, and in any case the number is constantly changing. Surplus huts are reported regionally to the Ministry of Works for disposal.

Sir W. Smithers

In view of the fact that one of the first duties of a Member of Parliament is to be a guardian of the public purse, does the right hon. Gentleman mean to say that it has not been brought to his notice that thousands of these huts arc empty and rotting? In view of the shortage of this kind of accommodation, is this not a terrible indictment of State control and a loss to the taxpayer?

Mr. Alexander

The hon. Member was kind enough to send me an article on a particular case into which the Air Ministry are conductng an inquiry. I am sending him a copy of the general procedure adopted in these cases.

Sir W. Smithers

May I have a copy of the report of the inquiry?

Mr. Alexander indicated assent